There’s a simple truth in customer experience marketing: brands with access to social media firehoses know their customers better.
Social platforms have democratised information about your customers. Now brands have at their disposal the largest source of customer opinion in existence, which updates itself in real time.
That’s not to say you can’t gain vital insight from more traditional, heuristic methods, like surveys and feedback forms. But, consumer behaviour moves at a continuous pace, and ‘static’ insights have a shelf life.
Not to mention, as proven by 2016’s US election results, what people say is often quite different to how they behave.
Here’s the top four social insights you should be tracking during your next marketing campaign.
Understand your ‘customer sentiment’ before actioning
Social listening tools are growing up. Tech like Crimson Hexagon or Sprinklr can be trained to know whether a post is negative or positive, even detecting subtleties like irony or sarcasm.
The best way to look at customer sentiment is through ironic glasses.
However, determining what causes your customer to express positive or negative comments is much more actionable than simply knowing sentiment alone.
Say, 50% of your customer sentiment is negative, two weeks into your campaign. Using sentiment analysis, you can determine what people are negatively venting about a song or a particular catchphrase you used.
You can’t change your campaign at this point, but you can change the way you talk about it. This grants you the opportunity to respond to sentiment that wouldn’t have otherwise been available.
Know when your customers ‘intend to purchase’
Timing is everything.
Trained positive sentiment doesn’t just indicate how customers are feeling about you. It can then go on to identify specific behaviour. Customer engagement alone is not necessarily valuable. But coupled with
For example, if you can prove a promotional voucher code actually increases a customer’s intent to buy a product, you’ll know where to pour your efforts.
Or if you can prove that a particular video you’ve pushed out decreases intent to buy, you’ll know where to deemphasise your efforts.
Influencers and microinfluencers
They’re words we’re all bored of hearing. But that doesn’t mean we should stop talking about them.
And we still live in a time where influencers are fairly naïve of the value of their communities. Especially when it comes to microinfluencers, who see the highest engagement rates of all, despite having much smaller followings (usually between 5,000-25,000).
In fact, 82% of consumers are highly likely to follow the recommendation of a microinfluencer, according to Experticity.
Ignore them at your peril.
‘Customer affinities’ are everywhere in the social breadcrumb
We like to think that our customers live and breathe our brand, and our brand only. The reality is, they have a whole range of other interests and affinities with other brands.
These “psychographic identifiers” are littered throughout their social profiles in tweets, follows, interactions and the like with other social profiles. This is where you find out who your customers actually are, what they like and how you can connect with them on a deeper level.
Likes are stronger by association. So, understand your customers’ priorities and understand that it’s not just your brand they want.
This can help you identify more relevant sponsorships, messaging or even reveal a new market just ready for the taking.
“Timing and relevance are everything,” James Surridge, Strategy Director at Idealogy said. “Social insights are now a must-have in any strategic planning process. It matters not whether you’ve run out of toothpaste or looking to decontaminate a Magnox reactor. Every buying cycle is different from product to product and customer to customer.”
- Measuring customer sentiment can help you know what’s working.
- Determining an audience’s intent to purchase can help you know what converts and, more importantly, what doesn’t.
- Identifying influencers and microinfluencers will help you reach new communities.
- Measuring customer affinities can help know what’s to do next.
- A shift from episodic to real-time insight is where you’ll be able tweak and pivot your campaigns, and get it right for your buyers, every time.